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Comment: Bad Example, Maybe (Score 2) 603

by Gazzonyx (#49534547) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California
Take it as you will, but second hand smoke might not be the best example. I'm not a huge fan of Penn Gillette, but at the least I thought this was interesting if the facts are accurate - Penn & Teller - Bullshit :: Second Hand Smoke. It feels to have at least a touch of truthiness to it if you can handle Penn for 15 straight minutes (while I appreciate some of the things he has to say, he's not my cup of tea personality wise).

+ - Rand Paul Introduces Bill To Curb Overzealous Prosecutions For Computer Crimes->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation today to better target serious criminals and curb overzealous prosecutions for non-malicious computer and Internet offenses.

The legislation, inspired by the late Internet innovator and activist Aaron Swartz, who faced up to 35 years in prison for an act of civil disobedience, would reform the quarter-century old Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to better reflect computer and internet activities in the digital age. Numerous and recent instances of heavy-handed prosecutions for non-malicious computer crimes have raised serious questions as to how the law treats violations of terms of service, employer agreements and website notices.

“I am proud to join Sen. Wyden and Rep. Lofgren today in offering this bipartisan and bicameral legislation which will reduce overbroad prosecutions and adjust unfair sentencing practices,” Sen. Paul said.

Link to Original Source

+ - AMD Publishes New "AMDGPU" Linux Graphics Driver->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: AMD has made available its new AMDGPU Linux graphics driver comprised of a brand new DRM/KMS kernel driver, a new xf86-video-amdgpu X11 driver, and modifications to libdrm and Gallium3D. This new AMDGPU driver is designed for supporting AMD's next-generation hardware with no support differences for currently supported Radeon GPUs. While yet to be released, this new AMDGPU driver is the critical piece to the new unified driver strategy with Catalyst where their high performance proprietary driver will now become limited to being a user-space binary component that uses this open-source kernel driver.
Link to Original Source

+ - Baltimore Police say Stingray phone tracking use exceeds 25,000 instances->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Baltimore Police Department is starting to come clean about its use of cell-phone signal interceptors — commonly known as Stingrays — and the numbers are alarming. According to recent court testimony reported by The Baltimore Sun, the city's police have used Stingray devices with a court order more than 25,000 times. It's a massive number, representing an average of nearly nine uses a day for eight years (the BPD acquired the technology in 2007), and it doesn't include any emergency uses of the device, which would have proceeded without a court order.
Link to Original Source

+ - Netflix Is Betting on Exclusive Programming->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: You may have heard of the recent launch of the new Daredevil TV show, and possibly the hit shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. They're all original programming from Netflix — the company that used to mail DVDs to your door. But Netflix has a lot more than just those three shows — it has 320 hours of original programming planned for this year. This article discusses how Netflix is betting big on original, exclusive content, and what that means for the future of television. "Traditionally, television networks needed to stand for something to carve out an audience, he said, whereas the Internet allows brands to mean different things to different people because the service can be personalized for individual viewers. That means that for a conservative Christian family, Netflix should stand for wholesome entertainment, and, for a 20-year-old New York college student, it should be much more on the edge, he said. ... 'We've had 80 years of linear TV, and it’s been amazing, and in its day the fax machine was amazing,' he said. "The next 20 years will be this transformation from linear TV to Internet TV.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - New PCIe SSDs load games, apps as fast as old SATA drives

Submitted by crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes: Slashdot has covered a bunch of new PCI Express SSDs over the past month, and for good reason. The latest crop offers much higher sequential and random I/O rates than predecessors based on old-school Serial ATA interfaces. They're also compatible with new protocols, like NVM Express, which reduce overhead and improve scaling under demanding loads. As one might expect, these new PCIe drives destroy the competition in targeted benchmarks, hitting top speeds several times faster than even the best SATA SSDs can muster. The thing is, PCIe SSDs don't load games or common application data any faster than current incumbents—or even consumer-grade SSDs from five years ago. That's very different from the initial transition from mechanical to solid-state storage, where load times improved noticeably for just about everything. Servers and workstations can no doubt take advantage of the extra oomph that PCIe SSDs provide, but desktop users may struggle to find scenarios where PCIe SSDs offer palpable performance improvements over even budget-oriented SATA drives.

+ - Mysterious 'Cold Spot': Fingerprint of Largest Structure in the Universe?-> 1

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine writes: At the furthest-most reaches of the observable universe lies one of the most enigmatic mysteries of modern cosmology: the cosmic microwave background (CMB) Cold Spot. Discovered in 2004, this strange feature etched into the primordial echo of the Big Bang has been the focus of many hypotheses — could it be the presence of another universe? Or is it just instrumental error? Now, astronomers may have acquired strong evidence as to the Cold Spot’s origin and, perhaps unsurprisingly, no multiverse hypothesis is required. But it’s not instrumental error either. It could be a vast "supervoid" around 1.8 billion light-years wide that is altering the characteristics of the CMB radiation traveling through it.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Qualifications (Score 3, Funny) 669

by Gazzonyx (#49511295) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on this. I'm a Professional Engineer in Water Resources in Las Vegas. But, I'm not a Hollywood actor, or famous or anything. Maybe we should just defer to our leaders, like Mr. Shatner, to determine what course of action we should take.

I like you; you understand your place in this world. :)
Seriously though, reasonable people that are willing to compromise never get anything done when dealing with people that aren't reasonable and won't compromise.

+ - Is iPhone's Lack of FM Support Increasing Your Chances of Dying in a Disaster?

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: "You may not know it," reports NPR's Emma Bowman, "but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off. The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there." But FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says radio-enabled smartphones could sure come in handy during times of emergency. So, is it irresponsible not to activate the FM chips? And should it's-the-app-way-or-the-highway Apple follow Microsoft's lead and make no-static-at-all FM available on iPhones?

+ - Helpin' minorities in earning Ph.Ds->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: The article outlines the attempts of universities in helping minorities — specifically the African Americans, the Latin Americans, the Native Americans and the Alaska Natives — obtaining their Ph.Ds, and the recent progress

A conundrum remains — nobody can put their fingers to a specific (proven) recipe which led to the success

The three-year study, which was paid for by the National Science Foundation, is the most comprehensive to date on times to degree, attrition, and completion rates for members of underrepresented minority groups

The report's suggestion on improvements on completion rates include

1) Conducting interventions throughout the entire doctoral process;
2) Providing students with enhanced academic support;
3) Monitoring and evaluating programs and interventions; and
4) Cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion,

A highlight of the report

“One of the striking lessons from this study is that the dissertation phase is a particularly critical time for students. Our country’s STEM workforce will lose a great deal of potential talent if we don’t help underrepresented doctoral students cross the finish line”

...carries the hint of 'shortening the time to degree based on interviews with minority graduate students' might prove to be controversial as that could bring forth the ' entitlement mindset ' that has been plagued the society at large for much too long


Link to Original Source

+ - Code.org: Poor Choices by US Kids Force Our Wealthy Donors to Hire H-1B Workers

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: "With only 10% of all STEM graduates choosing to major in computer science," exclaims Code.org in a blog post, "it’s no surprise the U.S. needs to bring in so many skilled workers from other countries!" Code.org, which is bankrolled by some of tech's wealthiest individuals and their companies, also took to Twitter to suggest that H-1B visas be used to raise $200 million for CS education, which the White House has coincidentally endorsed Code.org to provide. Speaking of coincidences, many of Code.org's donors are also backers of Mark Zuckerberg's H-1B hungry FWD.us PAC. And that, kids, is the circle of lobbying life.

+ - The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: Citing the comeuppance of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, who was suspended from her job after her filmed ad-hominem attack on a person McHenry deemed to be beneath her in terms of appearance, education, wealth, class, status went viral, The Atlantic's Megan Garber writes that one silver lining of the omnipresence of cameras it that the possibility of exposure can also encourage us to be a little kinder to each other. "Terrible behavior," Garber writes, "whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power. Which can, again, be a bad thing — but which can also, in McHenry's case, be an extremely beneficial one. It's good that her behavior has been exposed. It's good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It's good that she has publicly promised 'to learn from this mistake.'"

+ - Is Google not able to search? 1

Submitted by ShopMgr
ShopMgr writes: I just ran across the latest update in the Chrome Browser. Try and bookmark something, in the past you could search for the "folder". It was a lame search, wouldn't show you where the folder was at. Now it doesn't even find the folders. I had to stop using the new Google Mail, it doesn't let you search for "folders" either. So, what is a better tool for indexing my thousands of links?

+ - Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine 1

Submitted by Adrian Harvey
Adrian Harvey writes: The New Zealand based commercial space company Rocket Lab has unveiled their new rocket engine which the media is describing as battery-powered. It still uses rocket fuel, of course, but has an entirely new propulsion cycle which uses electric motors to drive its turbopumps.

To add to the interest over the design, it uses 3D printing for all its primary components. First launch is expected this year, with commercial operations commencing in 2016.

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